After two black men were arrested at a Philadelphia Starbucks for no apparent reason, another racist incident at a Starbucks in Torrance, California has emerged.
Brandon Ward, 26, who is black, entered a Starbucks store and asked the store manager for a restroom code. However, he was denied and was told he wasn’t allowed to use the restroom because he hadn’t made a purchase.
Ward then began recording the incident on camera.
The African-American man was sitting in the store when he saw a white man coming out of the restroom. Ward stopped him and asked him if he had made a purchase. The white man, identified only as Weston, told him he had not yet made purchase but was going to get some food.
Shocked by the situation, Ward turned to the store manager and inquired why was Weston given a code without purchase and why was he denied.
“Is it because of my skin color? I can't use the bathroom but Weston could? I think it may be my skin color,” he repeatedly asked the manager.
The manager replied, “You need to stop recording now. This is a private business; I am the store manager. I am asking you to leave right now. You are actually not allowed to be here anymore.”
A few seconds later, as the video ended, cops were called in to escort the man out.
In wake of the Philadelphia Starbucks incident, Starbucks released an apology, where it promised to engage with the police on these matters.
“Please know that we are taking this video and the commentary around it very seriously, and are working closely with the team to understand more. In addition to our own review, we will work with outside experts and community leaders to understand and adopt best practices, including unconscious bias training,” read the statement.
People on social media were outraged at the racist behavior.
“Racism is a systemic issue at Starbucks. Just because a company seems liberal and progressive, it does not mean they are immune from being flagrantly racist,” said a Twitter user.
Another one said, “Trying to use the bathroom while black. And he made a purchase before requesting the code. Weston had not made a purchase and got the code. Where is this Starbucks? Boycott their racist a****! @Starbucks shame on you!”
Considering the ongoing racist incidents in Starbucks nationwide, the coffeehouse chain definitely has some serious reconciliation to do with its customers — and education for its staff.
Banner/Thumbnail: Reuters, Lucy Nicholson